Many People in the UK will not have heard of Bob Ross, those of you reading from the rest of the world who have heard of him, will be wondering why today of all todays we at The Man Times have chosen today to make a tribute to him. The why is a simple answer, on 11th January 1983, 25 Years ago today saw the first broadcast of “The Joy of Painting” the work that made him truly famous. For those of you who haven’t seen it, his works are available on the YouTube channel managed by his estate.
Bob is a cult figure the world over, not just because his voice is like warm water that washes over you or watching him work is very much like watching magic unfold before you. Bob Ross is a cult figure all over the world almost because he’s the very opposite of what you’d expect a cult figure to be. Calm, gentle and softly spoken he built world’s and encouraged you to build your own. He makes you feel like you could paint, even if you couldnt. There’s a therapy to what he does, whether you watch him the Joy Of Painting when you’re drunk or stoned, if you’re watching ironically or perfectly seriously you watch because of Bob Ross, who he is and what he does.
Ross joined the Airforce at the age of 18 and worked his way up to the rank of Master Sergeant. Stationed in at an Airforce Base in Alaska Ross was in charge of the bases medical records and this is where he caught glimpses of the Mountains and Northern Lights that would become recurring themes in his work. He developed his rapid painting style to fit painting in between his work breaks. Ross left the air force after his paintings started making him more money than his Air force gig.
Ross was tragically diagnosed with lymphoma in the spring of 1994 which lead him to leave the Joy of Painting. It would take his life a year later. He told very few people of his illness and it was only revealed publically on the day of his death on July 4th 1995. He was 52.
Here’s to you Bob! We Encourage all our readers to visit his YouTube Channel and explore!